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Hodgson to visit Otago meningococcal campaign

Pete Hodgson to visit Otago school-based meningococcal campaign

Associate Minister for Health and Labour member for Dunedin North Pete Hodgson will take a first hand look at the Otago meningococcal B school-based vaccination programme today.

Mr Hodgson will visit Liberton Christian School in Pinehill today, Wednesday, 6 July, to view the school-based vaccination clinic. Vaccinations of the 60 children start about 1.30pm.

Mr Hodgson will be accompanied by the school-based campaign coordinators from Public Health South; Peter Bassett and Adele Knowles.

The Otago campaign is now into week six of the school-based campaign. Public Health South (PHS) vaccinating teams have given the first dose of the MeNZB vaccine to 86% of those who have consented. Of the more than 28,000 consent forms received at PHS - 93% have consented to having the vaccine in the school-based campaign.

"It's great to come here and see for myself the fantastic work being done by all those involved in the programme, from the health officials through to school staff,” said Mr Hodgson. “The meningococcal campaign is so important to the health of our young New Zealanders and it's particularly pleasing to see how well it has been embraced here in Otago."

Mr Bassett said today that the school-based campaign was running smoothly, and it was expected that all of the 26,000 school-children who had returned positive consent to the campaign would be vaccinated with their first dose by the end of this week.

The Otago campaign aims to vaccinate 90% (45,000) of the nearly 50,000 children and young people in Otago.

“The Meningococcal B vaccination programme is the biggest public health intervention New Zealand has ever known, and we are grateful for the support schools are showing to the campaign.

“The campaign is also a challenge for the health services tasked with implementing it, and we are also grateful for the support from parents,” Mr Bassett said.

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